The Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH) Program

  • The Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH) Program – an initiative of The National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India is to scout, evaluate, and support the innovations and startups that address COVID-19 challenges. Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), IIT Bombay has been identified as the Implementing Agency of the CAWACH by DST along with Indian STEPs and Business Incubators Association (ISBA) and 8 other incubators as satellite partners.

The CAWACH Satellite Centres involved in the process were :

  1. Foundation for Innovation and Research in Science and Technology (F.I.R.S.T), IIT Kanpur
  2. Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT), IIT Delhi
  3. Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre (HTIC), IIT Madras
  4. IKP Knowledge Park, Hyderabad
  5. KIIT Technology Business Incubator, Bhubaneswar
  6. Venture Centre, NCL Pune
  7. PSG-Science & Technology Entrepreneurial Park, Coimbatore
  8. Vellore Institute of Technology-TBI, Vellore

The objective is to support up to 50 innovations / startups that are in the areas of Diagnostics, Therapeutics, Informatics, and Interventions to control COVID-19.

Total of 51 startups were selected out of 820 applications.
Most of the startups were from ISBA Member Incubators.

CAWACH Program supports innovations in the following areas:

1.     High thrust products and solutions

§  High impact and scalable
products and solutions that address COVID-19 challenges

§  Ventilators and PPE

ü  Portable
ventilators, respirator, resuscitator, pulse oximeters, oxygen concentrators
and other peripheral medical equipment such as contactless thermometers &
Stethoscopes, Patient monitoring system accessories

ü  Personal
Protective Equipment (Masks, Shields, Suits, Goggles, Linen and disposable
gowns, gloves, lab shoes), relevant medical accessories

§  Sterilizers and Disinfectants: 

     Sanitizers,disinfectants, and allied systems such as booths/ community disinfectant
stations / chambers, bio-hazardous waste management solutions, large scale
sanitization and sterilization, surface sterilization units (preferably
automated & IoT enabled)

§  Diagnostic: Rapid Antibody & Antigen diagnostic kits, Other
diagnostic kits, Genomics based mapping solutions, Reagents, Safe sample

§  Informatics: Health care information systems, Movement tracking
& tracing, Crowd management, Geofencing, Logistics, any containment
solutions involving software/mobile applications, Patient tracking/ monitoring

1.      Any solution that addresses/mitigates various challenges faced by country/society due to
severe impact of COVID-19

2.   Product/solution near-ready, ready for deployment or manufacturing scaleup or repurposing of
existing products and services that can be quickly deployed.

 Under the CAWACH Program,

§  A nationwide call was open from April 6, 2020

§  Received  response from innovators across the country in various thrust areas such as PPEs, Disinfectants and Sanitizers, Informatics, Diagnostics & Devices,
Ventilators & other medical equipment

§  Over 825 applications were received and were processed by the CAWACH centres.

§  After multiple levels of review process by the experts, the first provisional list of 51
applicants across various domains has been identified for further due diligence
including documents verifications.

§  The final list of the CAWACH funding support to the startups were confirmed upon completion of
document verification and due diligence on parameters such as financial status,
legal and statutory compliances, commercial status etc.


ISBA played a vital role in the Design and Development of an Integrated Web
Application to Manage Call-for-Proposals under CAWACH Program and Coordinated
the call-for-proposals through social media, incubation centres and startup

ISBA Member Incubators played a major role in the screening of the applications in

each round of selection, shortlist and select the applicants for the next level
of the CAWACH Program.

The online platform enabled capturing application, expert opinion online,

monitoring the progress, data to the satellite and affiliate centres, MIS from
Satellite, and affiliate centres, Providing required data to the stakeholders.

 ISBA is also involved in the outcome / monitoring & evaluation / final impact

assessment in consultation with SINE, IIT Bombay and Satellite Centres. ISBA
would also create and update the success stories online for DST.

The Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH) Program
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